Iran non-oil exports to Russia five-fold in decade: official

Iran Materials 2 June 2009 12:10 (UTC +04:00)

TEHRAN (MEHR - Trend )

Iran's non-oil exports to Russia has increased more than five-fold over the period of March 1999 to March 2009, the director of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI) announced here on Monday.

The Mehr News Agency quoted Mehdi Ghazanfari as saying that the country's non-oil exports to Russia stood at $62 million in 1999, but the figure has surged to about $350 million in 2009.

"Vehicles, fruits, glassware, plastics, chemicals, carpets, and stone products were Iran's main export-bound products to Russia," he said, adding that Iran imported iron, steel, wood, electrical equipment, paper, fertilizers, and vehicles from Russia in the mentioned time.

Russia and Iran respectively represent the first and second in the world in natural gas reserves and second and fourth in oil production, which has encouraged the two to pursue economic partnerships involving the refining and export of oil and gas.

Beyond their trade and cooperation in hydrocarbons, Iran and Russia have also cooperated in many non-energy sectors of the economy, including a large agriculture agreement in January 2009 and a telecommunications contract in December 2008.

Iranian-Russian trade turnover rose to $3.7 billion last year, according to Fars News Agency.

Bilateral trade between the two countries totaled over $3 billion in 2007, according to the International Monetary Fund. Reflecting Russia's growing economic relationship with Iran, the Russian Minister of Agriculture called Iran a "strategic partner" of Russia after the two signed the agricultural agreement in Moscow in January 2009.